Game Review #127: Omensight: Definitive Edition (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Chad M.
Developer: Spearhead Games
Publisher: Spearhead Games
Category: Action, Adventure, Fighting
Release Date: 12.13.2018
Price (at time of review): $19.99
Buy Omensight from the Nintendo eShop here.
It’s A Hack N’ Slash Revival
The action RPG doesn’t have a large presence on the eShop at this time but it’s finally starting to get traction with having a big name like Dark Souls Remastered showing up. Though I love the big, sprawling epics like Souls and my personal favorite The Witcher 3, I miss the action RPG hack n slash games that were so prevalent on the PlayStation 2 like The Mark of Kri or Dark Cloud. Games that were heavy on story line and action, but still looked like it could’ve been a game based on a Disney Pixar movie. So when I saw the new game Omensight brought to us by Spearhead Games I was immediately excited to start playing; so let’s jump into it.
You Must Go Back To Save Us All
In the war torn world of Urralia you play as the Harbinger, a supernatural time-traveling female warrior who shows up in times of great crisis and peril, which is now more than ever, as a dark god has brought the end of days to Urralia. The story is far more complex than I expected and it was a pleasant surprise. There are intertwining storylines and characters that add to the complexity. I’m being vague on purpose as it is one of the main selling points and it deserves to be enjoyed bit by bit. But in short, as the Harbinger you’re a time-traveling sleuth that must keep going back in time to the same day (a la Groundhog Day) trying to solve a murder that in turn caused the end of the world. But each time you go back, you choose who to encounter: friend or foe. When you do you see things through their eyes and when the day (and thus the world) ends, you go back to the tree of life.
From here you can go back again and again, uncovering more facts each time that will help bring closure to the murder case. As you uncover more secrets you find that some good guys aren’t as good as you may think and are really the same as the bad guys. The characters add a lot to the overall experience as they each have their own demons they’re fighting and motivation that drives them in the war. The story, as I said, is one of the strongest reasons to play Omensight and I hope Spearhead continues the story and world building in future games.
Gameplay & Fun Factor
The gameplay is very fluid and straightforward. I can tell Spearhead poured a lot of love into this game. At its heart it’s a hack’n’slash with light platforming and detective-type decision-making. What platforming there is isn’t anything troubling or tough, it’s just something different mixed in between the battles that are around each corner. The fighting, as I said before, is fluid and if I had to compare it to something I’d say it’s like the Lord of the Rings Mordor games or the Batman Arkham Knight games. You have light and heavy attacks that you can mix together all while dodging enemies’ attacks. When they attack they will always come in medium to large groups. When an enemy is about to strike, a large exclamation point will appear over their heads and you have a brief moment to dodge out of the way. If you time if perfectly then everything slows down like the bullet-time effect in the Matrix movies.
In between stages you will be in a staging area where your guide gives you information to help you make your decisions. There you’ll find one statue to let you level up and one from which to buy items and power ups. There is also a glowing orb that collects all the information and clues you’ve gathered to aid you. Finally, there are stone statues that allow you to pick which direction you’ll head in your investigation. Everything from the detective work to the fighting feels very rewarding.
Audio & Visuals
The soundtrack is done very well; actually everything about the audio and visual elements feels like triple A quality. The biggest thing I noticed was the voice acting; it’s something I wish more games had. It seems most indie games just throw up text and let you read, but the voice acting takes it that extra step that really pays off. The sounds are top notch and the music fits very well in this magical world. The Unreal Engine 4 is cranking out beautiful graphics that pop off the screen. The use of colors is done nicely and the characters have a great look to them. I found the team over at Spearhead really outdid themselves with all aspects of the game. Lastly there were a couple of issues I found, but they didn’t take away from the overall experience. First I noticed during the loading screens - which are a tad long – that they seem to stammer and stutter, showing frame rate issues quite a bit during random loading areas throughout the stages. Second was the handheld mode was very fuzzy and hurt my eyes; I’d only recommend playing this in docked mode in its current state, but maybe a patch can fix this.
I really enjoyed my time spent with Omensight. I thought the Groundhog Day aspect of reliving the same day would feel cheap and old and get boring quickly. It was the complete opposite; to see a battle I was in the day before while I fight on the other side of the screen made it feel even more rewarding. This is a game I can highly recommend, but would throw in a fair warning that until a patch comes out it should only be played in docked mode.
Buy Omensight from the Nintendo eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by Spearhead Games